(updated Feb 12, 2016)
The Rio opened in 1990 as a locals’ casino. The Masquerade tower and casino expansion (featuring the now closed Masquerade Show In the Sky) opened in 1997. It was purchased by Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesars Entertainment) in 1999.
It is one of those places where I can spend 3 days and not have to leave the hotel. That is a good thing, since it is off-Strip. It has good dining options, a lively casino and fun nightlife options that are good for the non 20-something crowd. The pool area is nicely themed, too.
The Rio is officially called the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino. All of the standard rooms are 600 square foot suites. For reference, a typical room on the Strip is 350-450 square feet. Each room at the Rio has a spacious sitting area, refrigerator, safe, hair dryer, iron and ironing board. Rooms also have wired and wireless Internet access covered by the resort fee.
The Rio has two hotel towers; the Ipanema Tower and the Masquerade Tower.
The Masquerade Tower is the more recent tower. It features Strip views from most of the South facing rooms and pool views for North facing rooms. The elevators for the Masquerade Tower rooms are located just off the Masquerade casino floor. This is a long way from the front desk, valet, Carnival World Buffet and convention areas, but puts you near the VooDoo Steak & Lounge elevators, Chippendales Theatre and most of the more active dining and nightlife spots. Music from the VooDoo Lounge’s rooftop deck can bleed into rooms on the higher floors. Staying in the Masquerade Tower gives you convenient access to the Masquerade self parking garage. If you are here for a vacation, the Masquerade Tower is the one you want.
The Ipanema Tower is older, but was renovated in 2005. It is a three-wing hotel tower with 1/3 of the rooms facing West, with a view of the mountains, 1/3 facing North towards Fremont Street, and 1/3 facing East with pool and/or Strip views.
The Ipanema Tower elevators are directly across the lobby from the front desk. This puts you closer to the convention areas, valet, Harrah’s/Bally’s shuttles and the Carnival World Buffet. If you are here for a convention or plan on spending most of your time somewhere other than the Rio, this is the tower you want.
The Rio website does not clearly delineate this, but a “Deluxe Suite” is typically in the Ipanema Tower and a “Premium Suite” is usually in the Masquerade Tower. The Rio recently added a PetStay option where small dogs are permitted in specifically designated rooms for a higher price. For more details on the PetStay rooms, visit their website.
For dining info, visit my Rio Dining post.
The Rio recently added the VooDoo Zipline. I’m not a big fan of it since it is more like a ski-lift than a traditional zipline and it faces away from the Strip. It still qualifies as a thrill ride, though.
The Rio charges a nightly resort fee of $29 ($32.48 after taxes) which covers internet access, fitness center access and all local calls.
The Rio also offers a discount of up to 15% for Military, First Responders, Students & Teachers.